Russell A. Berman

Senior Fellow

Russell A. Berman, the Walter A. Haas Professor in the Humanities at Stanford University, is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution and a co-chair of the Working Group on Islamism and the International Order.

Berman specializes in the study of German literary history and cultural politics. He is a member of both the Department of German Studies and the Department of Comparative Literature at Stanford. He has served in numerous administrative positions at Stanford.

He is the author of numerous articles and books including Enlightenment or Empire: Colonial Discourse in German Culture (1998) and The Rise of the Modern German Novel: Crisis and Charisma (1986), both of which won the Outstanding Book Award of the German Studies Association (in 2000 and 1987, respectively). Hoover Institution Press published his books In Retreat: America's Withdrawal from the Middle East (2014), Freedom or Terror: Europe Faces Jihad (2010), and Anti-Americanism in Europe: A Cultural Problem (2004). His other books include Fiction Sets You Free: Literature, Liberty, and Western Culture (2007), Cultural Studies of Modern Germany: Representation and Nationhood (1993), Modern Culture and Critical Theory: Art, Politics, and the Legacy of the Frankfurt School (1989), and Between Fontane and Tucholsky: Literary Criticism and the Public Sphere in Wilhelmine Germany (1983). He has also published numerous articles in the Hoover Digest, most recently "Marx’s Moldering Manifesto" (fall 2018). His writings have also appeared in Defining Ideas and Advancing a Free Society.

Berman has received many honors and awards including a Mellon Faculty Fellowship at Harvard University (1982–83), an Alexander von Humboldt Fellowship (1988–89), and the Bundesverdienstkreuz of the Federal Republic of Germany (1997).

Berman received his BA in 1972 from Harvard and his doctorate from Washington University in 1979.

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Recent Commentary

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The Once and Future Anti-Semitism

by Clifton B. Parker interview with Russell A. Bermanvia Hoover Digest
Tuesday, July 16, 2019

Hoover fellow Russell A. Berman examines the modern motives beyond an ancient hatred.

Hoover  senior fellow Russell Berman

Stanford Introductory Seminars Student Award Renamed For Russell Berman

featuring Russell A. Bermanvia Stanford News
Wednesday, May 22, 2019

To honor Russell Berman and his dedication to the Introductory Seminars program, Stanford has renamed an award recognizing exceptional student projects produced during the courses as the “Russell A. Berman Award for Excellence in an Introductory Seminar.”


What's Behind The Disturbing Reemergence Of Anti-Semitism?

by Russell A. Bermanvia The Hill
Monday, March 4, 2019

Anti-Semitism is undergoing a worrisome resurgence. The shootings at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh last October is part of a broader pattern: the anti-Jewish slogans at the Charlottesville demonstration in 2017; violent attacks on Jewish institutions in Belgium and France; attempts to storm two synagogues in Paris during an anti-Israel riot; assaults on Jewish men wearing the traditional kippa in the streets of Berlin.

Hoover Scholar Examines Rise of Anti-Semitism

interview with Russell A. Bermanvia Hoover Daily Report
Friday, February 22, 2019

The crisis of globalism, changing views on religion, and Middle Eastern conflicts are driving factors in the rise of anti-Semitism, a Hoover scholar says. Russell Berman, a professor of comparative literature and a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution, is the co-chair of the Working Group on Islamism and the International Order. He was recently interviewed about the increase in anti-Semitism, particularly in Europe.

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Our Political Theologies

by Russell A. Bermanvia The Caravan
Tuesday, December 18, 2018

It has been seventeen years since the September 11 attacks, a defining moment not only for America but for our allies as well, and the response of one of them can help understand some of the underlying cultural aspects of contemporary political debate.  When the news reports spread through Paris, the initial reaction of profound shock quickly gave way to vigorous expressions of solidarity with the United States. “We are now all Americans” Le Monde declared famously. France, itself so often scarred by terrorism from the Middle East since the Algerian War, felt threatened as well, as painful national memories reemerged. 

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Marx’s Moldering Manifesto

by Russell A. Bermanvia Hoover Digest
Monday, October 29, 2018

Karl Marx didn’t free the proletariat or anyone else.

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On China’s Western Front

by Russell A. Bermanvia The Caravan
Thursday, October 11, 2018

Problems in China’s restive northwest province of Xinjiang have long been simmering, but recent developments point to growing troubles, as news reports and statements by international organizations have significantly raised public attention.  Beijing is engaged in programmatic efforts to suppress the ethnic identity of the Uighur people, a population of 11 million, while combatting their aspirations for political autonomy or even independence.

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Target Assad’s Enablers

by Russell A. Bermanvia Hoover Digest
Monday, July 9, 2018

The Syrian civil war teems with outside actors. American strategy must reckon with their ambitions—and check them.

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Saudi Arabia Or Iran In US Strategy

by Russell A. Bermanvia The Caravan
Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Effective US policy toward Saudi Arabia requires familiarity with the intricacies of its history and society, of course. The legacies of the foundation of the state, the traditional collaboration of political and religious leadership and the burdensome privileges of the extended royal family still weigh on the Saudi present, even as new circumstances develop, especially the ambitions of the young generation, eager for the reforms promised by the bold leadership of the Crown Prince.


Too Bad For The Victims: Europe Still Fails To Protect Public From Terror

by Russell A. Bermanvia The Hill
Thursday, May 31, 2018

The attack in Liege, Belgium on Tuesday is being treated as an act of terrorism and rightly so. It began when the suspect, now identified as Belgian Benjamin Herman, assaulted two female police officers from behind, stabbing them multiple times and, after seizing their weapons, killing them both in cold blood. Such is terrorist bravery.